Wyrick magic show on hiatus

Who saw this coming? The Steve Wyrick magic show seems to have reached its inevitable conclusion at the Las Vegas Hilton, where history repeats itself for magic shows after "Triumph" proved to be a nonstarter last winter.

But there are two key distinctions, one of which is cited by Hilton officials as the reason they won't comment at this time: The Wyrick show is characterized as being on "hiatus," meaning the door is open to a return, presumably if Wyrick comes up with the money to open it again.

And that leads to the second distinction. Unlike "Triumph," the Hilton wasn't unhappy with the actual quality or content of the show, say sources close to the situation.

While the Hilton eventually realized "Triumph" was a dog that needed to be put down, management had no beefs with the shows Wyrick staged for employees and a smattering of paid ticket-buyers for roughly six weeks. By more than one account, it was a sizeable production with enough scenic elements to fill the big stage.

Wyrick may have the Hilton's approval, but he didn't have its money. Or, apparently, anyone else's.

The Hilton is a pay-to-play operation, and Wyrick was estimated to be paying $25,000 per week in rent for Elvis's old haunts (not including stagehands), and at least $20,000 a week more in advertising costs. Much of his outdoor advertising went up prematurely during the summer, and union stagehand costs for the extended rehearsals likely put the show in the red before it opened. ...

I was off last week and so only updated the Tropicana's entertainment situation over Twitter and the R-J's Vegas Voice blog. But just to make sure we're clear: The Trop showroom is back to square one. Gladys Knight has a few more dates -- today and Friday, and Oct. 25-29 -- while Recycled Percussion could become the room's main tenant.

Producer Adam Steck had a tentative deal to steer Recycled back into the building as an afternoon show. But he backed away because Knight wasn't doing enough shows to share union stagehand costs. The union minimum calls for eight or 10 shows a week (depending on the mix of afternoon and evening performances), when all but the biggest productions these days are fine with five or six. "It's too much pressure," says Steck.

Knight's camp came to a similar decision after out-of-town bookings left just seven Tropicana dates in November and eight in December. Now the Trop is said to be in direct talks with Recycled about coming back as the main attraction. ...

Another loose end tied up: "Absinthe" will indeed return to its outdoor location in front of Caesars Palace on Oct. 21. This time, it will be housed in a more permanent structure that will allow the carnival tent show to endure not only the winter, but also the scrutiny of code-enforcement inspectors who had previously limited the production to a six-month stay. ...

An overall face-lift at the diminutive Royal Resort includes dusting off an old second-floor banquet room for several shows overseen by Frederic Apcar and comedy producer Joe Sanfelippo.

The room may end up being called The Cave. "It's dark and dank, so we might as well just get over it," Sanfelippo says.

"The Rock & Roll Comedy Show" is already breaking in the room with a soft opening on Fridays and Saturdays. Rob Sherwood heads a rockin' band of comedians who turn stand-up to "11" with musical backing.

On Sunday, comedian Wheels Parise launches his weeknight "Comedy Live!" with veteran Babe Pier as emcee. On Wednesday, "America's Sound" with Early Clover debuts as the afternoon show.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.